A virtual glimpse of the Ghibli Museum

The word “Ghibli” immediately rolls on the tongue; it’s the name of Japan’s most beloved animation studios that produced classic films that charmed the world – from the mythical Princess Mononoke to the magical romps in Kiki’s Delivery Service. For years, it has retold classic stories into whimsical animations with gloriously hand-painted settings – lush gardens, royally romantic cities, falling stars, and war-torn skies. Co-founded by lauded director Hayao Miyazaki, Studio Ghibli has wonderfully transported viewers into another world, which is why the opening of its museum has stirred much anticipation for the animation-loving crowd.

Located in Tokyo’s Inokashira Koen in Mitaka, the Ghibli Museum is as magical as it sounds. The facade itself is wrapped in the same green, leafy settings that seem to hide the concrete walls from plain site. A tin robot stands in the middle of the garden, celebrating the beauty of cog work and contraptions. A theater is located on the ground floor, showing bite-sized animations over the hour.

One famed room replicates Hayao Miyazaki’s art direction room, mimicking its every little detail - from the scattered blueprints on the desk marked with drippings of painting to bowls of candies on the desk. Smaller rooms have permanent exhibits, while others have seasonal showcases. The walls of the studio are decorated with illustrations that reveal how the characters and the stories were made - the pages make it look like each section was a part of a giant scrapbook. Children aged below 12 will enjoy the museum’s most outstanding gift: on the top floor is the Cat-bus from My Neighbor Totoro! While it doesn’t really take children to the places they desire, the young ones will definitely revel in climbing up and down its furry exterior. A flying ship is located on the middle floor, giving a glimpse of Laputa in the Sky, complete with its own galley and, surprisingly, a working kitchen!

Since the rise of coronavirus, getting to the Ghibli Museum may seem impossible, but the management has decided to present the studio’s fans with a glimpse of the area while at home.